Is this what it feels like to be Rush Limbaugh? OK, so far I'm only influencing journalists who work at the same station as me, but it's a start!
WTDY, the radio station where I work part-time, can't get in touch with Democratic candidates for Senate. They're apparently not interested in discussing why "big labor" is only a big issue for Republicans now. Democrats make little mention of the issue that brought about this historic opportunity to take back the State Senate.
A while back I said that Walker's war against collective bargaining has as much to do with the Democrats as the governor. Some agreed, but some were incredulous. One commenter argued that Walker's union-busting was so outrageous that nobody could have possibly expected it.
And yet, we see the Democrats neglecting the issue yet again, suggesting that the debate over collective bargaining is not one they want to have during an election. If the major center-left party is unwilling to engage in labor issues, how can we possibly be surprised when the right cracks down on labor? Republican anti-union efforts are enabled by Democrats who either believe organized labor to be a thing of the past or are told by consultants that it is not a winning issue.
Democrats get tons of money from unions, but they get even more from corporations. I would argue that the party's current posture on unions is evidence of its attempt to straddle straddle both interests. It shows its support for labor by working for the existing unions, mainly found in iosolated pockets of the economy, especially the declining manufacturing sector and the public sector. However, it does not show vocal support for efforts to expand unionization, especially in the service economy. This keeps its supporters in big business happy.
What's incredible, however, is how willingly the American people entertain the notion that the Democratic Party is anti-business or left wing. Let's be clear: There is no American left. There used to be. But the right has taken over the dialogue in the last 30 years, and convinced us that any move towards an economic system championed by Roosevelt, Truman or Eisenhower represents an attack against American capitalist values.
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